10 top patient safety concerns for 2022

Staffing shortages are the top threat to patient safety in 2022, according an annual report on patient safety concerns from ECRI, an organization that conducts independent medical device evaluations, published March 14. 

Researchers identified the top threats to patient safety by analyzing a wide range of data, including scientific literature, patient safety events or concerns reported to or investigated by ECRI. 

Ten top patient safety concerns this year: 

  1. Staffing shortages
  2. COVID-19 effects on healthcare workers' mental health
  3. Bias and racism in addressing patient safety 
  4. Vaccine coverage gaps and errors
  5. Cognitive biases and diagnostic error
  6. Nonventilator healthcare-associated pneumonia 
  7. Human factors in operationalizing telehealth
  8. International supply chain disruptions
  9. Products subject to emergency use authorization
  10. Telemetry monitoring 

The list is typically dominated by clinical issues, with several of the top threats underscoring how the pandemic worsened issues already simmering in healthcare. 

"Shortages in the healthcare workforce and mental health challenges were broadly known and well-documented for years," said Marcus Schabacker, MD, PhD, president and CEO of ECRI. "Both physicians and nurses were at risk of burnout, emotional exhaustion and depression prior to 2022, but the pandemic made both issues significantly worse." 

The report includes actions organizations can take to prevent adverse events.

Click here to view the full report. 

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